Republican presidential candidate John McCain made a point to declare school vouchers an education policy grounded in research at Wednesday’s debate. “And I’ve got to tell you that vouchers, where they are requested and where they are agreed to, are a good and workable system,” said McCain. “And it’s been proven.” Not so fast, Senator!
Today’s Washington Post offers a fact check on the federal “Opportunity Scholarship Program” which, of course, was imposed upon Washington, DC by the Republican-controlled Congress and President Dubya.
A U.S. Department of Education study released in June showed that students in the program generally scored no higher on reading and math tests after two years than public school peers. The findings are consistent with previous studies of the voucher program.
Leslie Nabors Olah, senior researcher for the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, a coalition of five prominent universities, said that the D.C. voucher program hasn’t shown immediate benefits and that more research needs to be done.
“We have no evidence that vouchers work,” Nabors Olah said.